My wife thought, as it was Christmas, we should paint Britain’s favourite plucky little bird. Our robins have proved every bit as popular as our ‘St Nicholas Sparrows’. We’ve had great feedback and some lovely comments on Facebook. The idea was that they could be hung as christmas tree decorations, given, gift wrapped, with an accompanying robin fact inside for the recipient to discover on opening! Did you know, for instance, that female robins also sing, holding their own territories in Winter! I never knew that!
‘The Robin and the Sparrow’. These two birds have a bit of history. ‘Who killed cock robin?” is a nursery rhyme many people will know, and the sparrow does not come out well. In answer to “Who killed cock robin? “I, said the sparrow with my bow and arrow”, he confesses. It goes on to tell about all the birds assisting with the robin’s funeral. This rhyme is far older than I thought. It was first published in 1744, but there is reference to it in a 15th century stained glass window, in Gloucestershire! William Blake also brings them together in one of his poems, ‘The Blossom’, from ‘Songs of innocence.’